Gained in Translation

Last night I was given a fortune cookie. The English side was a little harsh:

“Enjoy your own company. If you don’t, who will?”

But the French side was sexay:

“Il faut savoir se plaire à soi-même. Sinon, qui d’autre peut le faire?”

VPFH Petition

Note: this will probably be of interest only to UTSC students.

So I’ve gone ahead and started circulating a petition around campus. It lists the ways in which the current VP Students & Equity has not been doing his job properly, and demands that he resign. If he doesn’t, it demands that the Board of Directors remove his powers.

This comes on the tail of months of trying to get him to perform the duties outlined in his job description, with no appreciable progress. It’s ridiculous that this guy is being given 14,000$ of student money to sit on his ass and not represent student needs.

The full text of the petition is below; you can also get this in PDF format, and if you feel inspired to spread the word, print out a few copies of the signature sheet and circulate the petition. Drop off the petition in the LGBTQ Lounge before 5 on Friday, March 7, so I can bring it to the board meeting. Note that this is for students of UTSC only — love and support from elsewhere is greatly appreciated, but reasons of legitimacy I need to limit the actual signers of the petition to current students.
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Lenny B on world-building in FATE/SotC

Leonard Balsera, one of the authors of Spirit of the Century, has written up a short and clear description of how to use FATE/SotC characters’ aspects in worldbuilding. If you’re just getting started in your FATE GMing career, give it a read to get some good ideas for how to sculpt a world that will interact nicely with your heroes. If you’re an experienced FATE GM, check this out anyway. Your players may be worried that the aspects they chose won’t be especially useful in your setting, and this article may help you convince them otherwise.

Finally, a personal note. I urge all you GMs, DMs, Storytellers, Bartenders and Referees to keep your world flexible. Your current crop of players is the most important group in the world, and if their fun requires that you modify your plans a bit, so be it.

New Horizons

Hey, is anyone as excited about New Horizons as I am? It’s a supplement for Spirit of the Century, and aims “to show some of the real failings of the pulp era when it comes to fairness and justice in order to provide rich and vibrant new possibilities for adventure roleplaying in a bygone era.”

Until recently it seemed like a cool project that wasn’t really going anywhere, but the author has been writing a bunch of production notes on his blag, and the Evil Hat folks are on board too. This look like it’s going to not only be a real, live product but also be the sort of professional, good-looking product we have learned to expect from Evil Hat Productions.

Check this summary out:

She is the strongest human being alive, her muscles super-charged by her own scientific processes. She’s fought dinosaurs barehanded and lived to tell the tale. But she can’t join any professional society for engineers, or even hold the patents for her inventions in her own name.

He is a supernaturally good poet. He can smell truth and lies from across the street. He’s saved the life of one president, two prime ministers, and a future pope. But if he goes out for a gourmet meal with friends, managers will insist he go in through the servants’ entrance.

Two men share a mystical union, pooling their health, knowledge, and magical essence. They bind demons and champion the falsely accused in courts on three continents. But if they ever once acknowledge the love they share along with their power, they’ll be disbarred and shunned by decent people everywhere.

The band of five fought in two wars for liberty, first against invading armies and then against tyrants at home. They free serfs, fight the architects of murder, and have twice stopped mad schemes of genocide. But they’re communists, and can’t even get visas to visit other heroes and scholars in the US.

Brother and sister are heirs to a millennia-old family tradition of serving justice and knowledge. Their ancestors commanded armies, delved into ancient tombs to lay ghosts—and worse things—to rest, taught the founders of new schools of philosophy and military strategy. But in the New World, he’s barely tolerated as a ditch digger—and she’ll be deported if she teaches English to other immigrants.

These are the other heroes, the ones who must fight for their dignity and liberty just as fiercely as they take on the challenges all pulp heroes face.

New Horizons is a new supplement for Spirit of the Century. Each chapter addresses a marginalized group from the pulps, kept outside by their sex, their race, their lifestyle, or their beliefs. In New Horizons you’ll find information about real-life heroic individuals and teams, the challenges they face and some of the solutions they find to the problems of dealing with 1920s society. You’ll also find heroes and villains ready for use, plot hooks, and ties to the mysteries around the Century Club. The life of heroes outside the mainstream may seem as strange as the secret language of Atlantis, but can be as exciting and powerful in play as a zeppelin armada.

Like a cruel joke

A bit of background: I live in the most culturally and ethnically diverse city in the world. However, the university I go to is comprised mostly of people from a very conservative background. This creates weird dynamics, and contributes to an atmosphere of intolerance toward groups those backgrounds habitually marginalize. There’s lots of homophobia. I’ve seen some racism and a fair amount of ableism*, but I’m not in a position to gauge the extent of those.

So for various reasons I showed up at the latest meeting of the committee that oversees the member of student government in charge of equity issues. Actually, I might as well say what the main reason was: the member in question was found to be a religiously homophobic asshole. So I presented my case, and lo and behold, the committee that oversees the homophobic asshole are also a bunch of religiously homophobic assholes.

That’s fucked up, right? It’s not just me? That the member of student government in charge of making sure that everyone gets a fair shake, as well as the committee that is supposed to make sure he’s doing his job properly are uniformly (or almost) homophobes?

* on a side note, the campus is reportedly quite accessible, so go them!

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